Kosdaq in near 16-year high, Korean won stopped by smooth operation

2018.01.08 16:36:51 | 2018.01.08 16:37:08

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The Kosdaq, South Korea’s tech-heavy secondary index, soared to a near 16-year high Monday tracking the record close on the Wall Street on Friday.

Its bigger peer and the country’s benchmark Korean Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) also extended gains to above 2,500-mark while the local currency continued strengthening against the U.S. dollar.

The Kosdaq climbed up 1.37 percent from the previous session and finished Monday at 839.51, the highest close since Apr. 19, 2002.

The Kosdaq opened Monday at 836.07, up 0.97 percent from the previous session’s close, and headed upwards thanks to strong appetite by both foreign and retail investors following a hint from the rally in major world indices including Dow Jones Industrial Average that renewed its highest record last week. It is the first time for the index’s intraday high to top the 830-mark since July 13, 2007 when the index hit 841.09.

Foreign investors net purchased 157.5 billion won ($147.7 million) worth of shares and retail investors 398.7 billion won, driving up the overall surge in the second bourse on Monday. In contrast, institutional investors net sold 546.3 billion won worth of stocks.

The main index Kospi opened on Monday at 2,510.70, up 0.53 percent from the previous session and finished the day at 2,513.28, up 0.63 percent from the previous session. Foreign investors net purchased 390.8 billion won worth of shares and led the uptrend momentum in the main bourse while retail and institutional investors net sold 353.0 billion won and 85.5 billion won, respectively.

In line with strong foreign buying, the Korean currency soared against the U.S. dollar to 1,050 won during the session on Monday. Last time the Korean won broke the 1,050 won mark during a session was on Oct. 31, 2014 when it hit 1,052.9.

The won closed Monday at 1,066.5 won against the greenback, falling 2.0 won as authorities are believed to have interfered via dollar-buying smooth operations to moderate the pace in steep rise in the won.

By Shin Heon-cheol and Cho Jeehyun

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